Despite stretching only around 100 meters in length, Bremen’s narrow Böttcherstraße is one of the city’s most popular cultural landmarks. It’s renowned for its unusual expressionist architecture, with most of its buildings erected between 1922 and 1931 following the initiative of a Bremen-based coffee merchant, Ludwig Roselius. He was a strong believer in National Socialism and Völkisch-Nordic cultural ideas, which he sought to highlight in Böttcherstraße’s architecture.
The entrance to Böttcherstraße is identified by a prominent gold sculpture known as the Lichtbringer and the thoroughfare had linked the market square and the Weser River since the Middle Ages. It had traditionally been inhabited by coopers, known locally as Böttcher, but following the relocation of the harbor in the mid-19th century, the importance of the street gradually diminished.
After its revitalization by Roselius, Böttcherstrasse is now clustered with art museums, craft workshops, bars and restaurants. A highlight of wandering through the street is listening to the carillon of Meissen porcelain bells that ring out from the Glockenspiel House three times a day.
Don’t miss a visit to the Paula Becker-Modersohn Museum, which was the world’s first gallery to be dedicated to the art of a single woman and is located within a striking Brick Expressionist building. Not only are paintings and those of her contemporaries exhibited but there are documents, photos and artifacts relating to Paula Becker-Modersohn.
Also of note is the 16th-century Roselius-Haus where the street’s visionary once lived. Today it’s home to the Ludwig Roselius Museum that exhibits an impressive collection of Low German art dating from the Gothic to Baroque periods.